Leaders in Action Conference inspires student leaders

Sara Lowery was the keynote speaker at the Leaders in Action Conference.
Sara Lowery was the keynote speaker at the Leaders in Action Conference.

Clarion, Pa.- Clarion University students gathered to learn about leadership and hear keynote speaker Sara Lowery spoke at the Leaders in Action Conference. The conference, sponsored by Advisory Board for Leadership and Engagement  was held on Saturday, Nov. 1 in the Gemmell Multi-Purpose Room.

“You have to put people in precarious situations to have them succeed. It’s more than a title. It’s to encourage others to act in a positive way,” said Lowery on her view of leadership.

Students had a full day of presentations to attend in order to gain an understanding about what a leader in action is. Throughout the day, three sessions were held and in each set of sessions, a student had to choose one out of three presentations to attend, one they felt they would learn the most from.

Session one included presentations from Naomi Bell O’Neil of the Communication Department, training consultant Joseph Croskey and student Kaitlyn Kotar. O’Neil’s presentation was designed to determine what kind of leader a person is by using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

Authenticity was a key discussion point throughout Croskey’s presentation. He focused on the mindfulness of a good leader, as well as the emotional intelligence.

Junior Andrea Griffith said, “It was very challenging to focus on my breathing, so I began breathing faster. Actually focusing on my breathing isn’t something I’m used to.”

Kotar’s presentation addressed the issue of stress. She focused on how to manage stress, the effects it has on a person’s body and how stress is triggered. Students who attended this presentation were able to identify their stressors and come up with a plan in order to manage their stress in the best way possible for themselves.

Maria Russo, a student at Clarion Univeristy; Dr. Brenda Sanders Dédé, associate vice president for academic affairs; and Geraud Brumfield, graduate from Shippensburg University were the speakers for session two.

The skill set a person needs to develop and work on was the topic Dédé focused on during her presentation. She focused on the attire and attitude of a leader.

Russo’s presentation shared the knowledge and skills she’s acquired from the Emerging Leaders Program. She focused on her experiences as a leader and mentor, by example of the Social Change Model, and explained how it is used in the everyday lives of students.   

The topic of identity and who a person truly is behind what he or she does was the message in Brumfield’s presentation. He said that taking bigger risks is knowing who you truly are.

Speakers in the final session included Clarion students Tyler Kitzmiller , Darren Young, Josh Domitrovich and Michael Zigmond Miller.

Domitrovich focused on how to be an authentic leader. He discussed his leadership background and was determined to have the audience interactive in what a true leader is and the qualities one may have.

Domitrovich used his own personal life experiences and choices, along with the people he’s come across to define what a leader is.

Miller’s presentation focused on leading while also being a follower. He introduced a different way of thinking about a leader and showed that one needs to think about the end result to improve his or her role as a leader.

Kitzmiller and Young had their audience look back on their experiences in life and how these helped them grow. Using those experiences, they had the students plan their future of being effective leaders.

Lowery said “seeing students give to other students and hearing their ideas” was her favorite part about the Leaders in Action Conference.

Junior Torron Mollet said, “I believe that the Leaders in Action Conference help better oneself not just with leadership skills, but as far as communication skills or proper attire for work and interviews.”

He left the conference knowing how to adapt to new leadership skills in order to get to the leader he strives to be.

Lowery said, “If you all have something, why aren’t you giving it to those who don’t?” She encourages the students at the conference to take action Monday morning. “Let this Saturday be change. Be a leader.”

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